Northgate Vehicle Hire has appointed Mark Hunt – previously Northgate’s group financial controller – as UK finance director.
Hunt’s promotion comes in a period of sustained success for the company and is a signal of Northgate’s intent to create further profitable growth through strong financial management.
Northgate has enjoyed a healthy period of growth in recent years and announced strong financial results for 2014/15, with UK Operating Profit up £18 million to £69 million and revenue increasing by 11%, compared to the prior year.
In the year, Northgate purchased 19,800 new vehicles for its fleet nationwide, and opened eight new sites throughout the UK and Ireland, taking its total number of branches to 76.
The company chose to open new branches in London and the North West, following research that indicated these areas were under-served by commercial vehicle suppliers, allowing Northgate to take advantage of a gap in the market. The business plans to open a further 14 branches in the next three years.
Hunt said: “Northgate Vehicle Hire is in a strong position following another successful year. The focus now is on ensuring that profitable growth continues.
“We are operating in a very competitive market, but I believe that our first-rate customer service and market leading product differentiates us from other providers and we are passionate in our view that we offer the best solution for businesses to acquire LCVs because of the flexible nature of our product. This is something we are keen to promote on a national scale in order to attract new customers.”
In his new role, Hunt’s focus is on creating closer links between the finance department and the rest of the business, and on building sustainable, profitable growth.
Northgate will judge any new site and new vehicle investments by their potential profitability, with new vehicles and branches being approved only where they will meet the required level of return.
The finance team is also introducing new business intelligence measures, including a new online customer management information (MI) portal and vehicle life cycle dashboards.
The latter project will provide financial insight and rigour to the decision making around vehicle purchasing and the subsequent timing of defleet for disposal through Northgate’s vehicle sales arm, Van Monster.
Northgate Vehicle Hire’s chief executive Bob Contreras said: “This past year has seen further growth for Northgate with our recent financial results reflecting the hard work and commitment of our people across our network.
“Northgate’s finance department plays a pivotal role in continuing this success and under Mark’s leadership I am confident that our UK operations will be greatly strengthened, enabling us to deliver future profitable growth.”
Northgate Vehicle Hire has sites across 76 locations in the UK & Ireland, with its head office in Darlington.